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Grant decision to be made on Facebook

Grant funding for charitable organizations is becoming more and more competitive as the economy continues to struggle. But, one business is hoping to help some lucky organization with a grant gift of $25,000 — and votes on Facebook will determine the recipients.

State Farm agencies are offering an opportunity for groups who want to help their community through a worthy cause by making the grant funding possible. But, as with all grants, the awarding of the cash will be competitive — and fun, officials with the company say.

The grant, dubbed Cause and Effect, is a new youth-led, crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that relies on local, non-profit organizations to create solutions to community issues.

With the application process already underway, State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadsden said there is still time to make an application for a chance at the grant funds.

“We have a limit of how many applications we will take for the funding, but there is still plenty of time and space for those who want to apply but haven’t done so,” Gadson said. “We are still want to accept applications for this grant funding.”

Gadson said the grant, offered by State Farm, is one that can help a wide range of organizations who want to make an impact on their community.

“State Farm is excited about this effort to address local challenges, and help our communities get to a better state,” Gadson said. “Cause An Effect empowers neighbors to bring a $25,000 grant directly to their community, and we’re hoping to continue to drive the creativity and ingenuity that makes such a difference in strengthening the neighborhoods we live in.”

The application process for the grant will end March 20 with submissions taken through an on-line process. To access the application, visit the Cause an Effect tab on State Farm’s Facebook page.

Gadson said 40 grants will be awarded at the end of the process.  The State Farm youth advisory board is a diverse group of 30 full-time high school and college students who are passionate about social responsibility. The group will review the Cause submissions and help State Farm select 100 finalists. State Farm will identify and pair one of the recommended or user-suggested nonprofits with each Cause. These nonprofits will create and execute a plan to address the Cause; the Cause submitter can be as involved as they choose to be in this process.

Once finalists are selected on April 27, Facebook users will get the chance to rally behind the Cause that means the most to them by voting on the State Farm Facebook page up to 10 times daily until May 17.

Gadson said when voting will end May 17 with the 40 Causes that receive the most votes will receive the $25,000 grants.

Winners will be announced May 22, Gadson said.

For more information on Cause An Effect or to submit a Cause, visit the State Farm Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/statefarm) or search #causeaneffect on Twitter.